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Academic, Scientific or Professional Interest

Palaeontology is a discipline based on the study and interpretation of life’s past on Earth through fossils. Included within Natural Sciences, it posses its own body of doctrine and shares fundaments and methods with Geology and Biology, with which is intrinsically integrated. In fact, palaeontology gives these sciences back the fundaments previously provided in the form of inputs or contributions to other fields of science due to the wide range of possible applications in paleobiological research (Evolution, Biodiversity, Continental Drifts, Climate change...).

Hence, the most usual application of palaeontology is the basic contribution to other sciences through the study of fossil remains. Nonetheless, palaeontology is useful within many other areas (many are not directly related to Geology or Biology), which are clearly under-exploited in comparison to other European countries or outside of Europe (United States, Canada, Australia, etc.). These areas include, for example, the application of palaeontology in oil exploration, in mining and other geological resources, usefulness in civil engineering, in environmental impact and climate change studies, in archaeology , in forensic Palynology, in medical palynology, protection of natural and cultural heritage and in extension to society (museum studies, dissemination, theme park).

The main aim of this Master’s degree is to provide a solid base in the field of applied palaeontology which may allow the students to develop a professional career in any of the slopes of palaeontology, covering a lack of professionals from this field in our country. Among the professional opportunities, we could highlight occupation or creation of autonomous work in centres and enterprises based on the management and spread of natural heritage, public administration, prospection enterprises and geological resource management, consultancy and works monitoring (protection of the paleontological heritage), environmental audit and territorial organisation, geological cartography, museums, and centres for paleontological interpretation and dissemination. The Master’s degree will also qualify the students who desire so, to continue a teaching or researching career.